In August, average asking prices dropped 2.1% in Auckland year-on-year, but rose 10.5% in the regions – suggesting New Zealand’s largest city to be more concerned about the election than the provinces, according to the latest Trade Me Property Price Index.

The index showed average asking price for typical Kiwi property was up by only 2.7% to $613,450.
The non-metro regions outside Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch were faring better with loan-to-value restrictions (LVRs) and pre-election nerves, Trade Me Property head Nigel Jeffries said.

“While sellers in the regions are being restrained, with the number of listings down 19.6% on this time last year, buyers are still keen with the average asking price jumping to $473,450,” he said.

“However we’re seeing some unusual activity in Auckland. Despite rising demand with new listing views up 15% and supply struggling to keep up, we are not seeing the price movement we would expect. Auckland’s average asking price is down 2.1% since July to $892,450, dipping under the $900,000 threshold in August for the first time since January 2017.”

The increased activity and lower stock would normally push prices up, but that hadn’t happened yet. Jeffries said he expects to see prices pick up again after the election.

Despite some uncertainty and trepidation in the market, most regions showed strong increases year-on-year in August – in central North Island regions like Waikato, Hawke’s Bay and Wanganui climbed more than 17%.

In the South Island, Marlborough, Nelson and Southland registered largest increases, rising 10.7%, 8.2% and 7.5% respectively, while Canterbury and the West Coast dropped 0.4% and 1.3%.

Small houses (1-2 bedrooms), with average asking prices up by 6.3% from last year, continues as the most popular house type across the country. Wellington led the trend with a “staggering” 19.6% jump to $424,050 over the past year, Jeffries said.

Large houses (5+ bedrooms) were up 2.6% and medium houses (3-4 bedrooms) have increased 2.2% in the last year.

Units in Wellington showed an annual increase of 21.3%, with the average asking price for a unit now $347,550. Townhouses have equally surged by 17.3% in the last year to $506,750, he said.